This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

FDA To Review First Of 3 New Weight Loss Drugs

MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Dieters, doctors and investors get their first extensive look at the first of a trio of new weight loss drugs this week. The hope is that the new drugs can succeed where many others have failed: delivering significant weight loss without risky side effects.

With U.S. obesity rates nearing 35 percent of the adult population, expectations are high for the first new prescription drug therapies to emerge in more than a decade. Even a modestly effective drug has blockbuster potential.

None of the three medicines represents a breakthrough in research. Drugmakers have made little headway in understanding and treating the causes of overeating. Two of the drugs submitted for approval simply combine existing drugs â¿¿ an anticonvulsant and an amphetamine â¿¿ but have worrying side effects. The third, a new medication, is safer but less effective.

The quest for a blockbuster weight loss drug has been plagued for decades by safety issues. The most notable was Wyeth's diet pill drug combination fen-phen, which was pulled off the market in 1997 due to links to heart valve damage and lung problems.

The FDA is expected to post its review of Vivus Inc.'s pill Qnexa on Monday and will hold a public meeting Thursday to review the data. Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s lorcaserin is set for an FDA panel review in September, while Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.'s Contrave will be the subject of a December panel.

"There's no obvious clear winner," said Leerink Swann analyst Steve Yoo. "If you look at different aspects, each drug shines."

To be considered effective, obesity drugs should reduce total body weight by at least 5 percent after one year, according to FDA guidance to companies.

Qnexa showed the best weight loss results in clinical trials, with patients losing between 13 percent and 15 percent of their body weight. But the drug also had the highest rate of patient dropouts due to side effects, which include memory and concentration problems.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ABT $49.12 0.22%
ARNA $3.97 -1.00%
JNJ $101.03 -0.10%
OREX $4.86 -1.30%
PFE $34.32 0.06%

Markets

DOW 18,090.02 -72.97 -0.40%
S&P 500 2,114.40 -9.08 -0.43%
NASDAQ 5,086.02 -20.5730 -0.40%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs